What will be the impact of Brexit if I have been legally residing in the United Kingdom for more than 5 consecutive years?
If you resided in the United Kingdom before or on 31 December 2020 the latest and you would like to continue to reside there after that date, you must consolidate your permanent residency right by applying for a “settled status” in due time via the EU Settlement Scheme. You can register until 30 June 2021. In fact, this is a grace period of 6 months which extends the transition period for EU citizens who arrived in the UK before 31 December 2020. It is in your own interest to register as soon as possible via the EU Settlement Scheme.
You can obtain a “settled status” as soon as you meet the applicable conditions, without the discretion of the British authoritities. Please note that more information about the procedure can be found on under ‘Practical suggestions for Belgians living in the United Kingdom’.
If your application is successful, your “settled status” will be registered digitally. This status will be maintained for life, for you and your family members. Your family members also have to file a separate application, unless they have British or Irish nationality. Please note: a “settled status” may be repealed in the case of continued absence from the United Kingdom for 5 years and 1 day.
Furthermore, you can enter and leave the United Kingdom provided you are in possession of a valid identity card or passport. If you have a “settled status” in the context of the EU Settlement Scheme, you will be able to enter and leave the UK with a valid identity card until at least 31 December 2025. With an "EEA family permit", your family members, originating from a non-EEA country, have easier and quicker access to the United Kingdom.
As far as the European Health Insurance Card is concerned, you can apply for a new version online via the NHS. This will enable you to be covered for health care when you travel to an EU country.
Conclusion: if you resided in the United Kingdom before or on 31/12/2020 the latest and can demonstrate that you have accumulated 5 years of continuous legal residence on the date of your application, you will need to apply for the “settled status” before 30 June 2021 in order to continue to live in the United Kingdom after that date. It is in your own interest to register as soon as possible via the EU Settlement Scheme.